We purchased this little piece of land with growing food in mind. We needed land that was already cleared with fertile soil and plenty of sunshine. We wanted a rainforest creek. One fateful day we went looking and here was our five acres. It was everything we could possibly dream of, and the climate was a touch cooler than the lowland tropic we were used to. We had found our little piece of paradise! And the soil smelt wonderful.
A bore was sunk early to support the intended gardens. Luckily after the third attempt and three days we hit good, clean water. The natural flow of the land was integral in the design of the gardens. This is permaculture at it most effective. Most farmers in Australia use contours to save the rainfall … here in the tropics it is necessary to let it go its own way as 3 to 4 metres is the average annual rainfall. We employed a mini excavator to form the rows that now run downhill east to west. Kate stood transfixed as the machinery operator performed his magical dirt dance!
Next came the fence … and with it a barrier to the wild pigs that roam the nearby mountains. With hardwood strainers, star pickets, dog wire and three strands of barbed wire we now had a defence against these masters of destruction. And just in time as our first seeding of rocket was striking.
Julatten Earth Food grew rapidly and resulted in a second raised garden precint, a dedicated packing shed and the start of extensive fruit orchard, nitrogen-fixing species and coffee plantings.